Status Report

Canadian Investigations of the Interstellar Medium

By SpaceRef Editor
October 10, 2019
Filed under , ,

Alex S. Hill (UBC), Jan Cami (Western University), Laura Fissel (Queen’s University), Tyler Foster (Brandon U), Gilles Joncas (U Laval), Lewis Knee (NRC/HAA), Roland Kothes (NRC/HAA), Tom Landecker (NRC/HAA), Tim Robishaw (NRC/HAA), Erik Rosolowsky (U Alberta), Samar Safi-Harb (U Manitoba), Jennifer West (U Toronto), Trey V. Wenger (NRC/HAA)

(Submitted on 8 Oct 2019)

The interstellar medium mediates galactic evolution as the reservoir of material for future star formation and the repository of energy and matter output by stellar processes. Canadians have played leading roles in ISM science for decades. The Canadian Galactic Plane Survey identified a wealth of small-scale structure in H I emission as well as self-absorption and in the structure of polarized emission. These observations demonstrated that no phase of the ISM, including the transition from atomic gas to star formation, can be understood in isolation. Canadians have also played leading roles in the characterization of dust with Planck and balloon-borne telescopes. Canadians have also used pulsar scintillometry to measure structure in the ISM at the smallest scales, below 1 AU.

The 2020s offer many opportunities for ISM science in Canada. A major but cost-effective upgrade to the Synthesis Telescope with broadband (400-1800 MHz) single-pixel feeds would enable broadband polarimetry as well as wide-area, arcminute surveys of radio recombination lines. The next generation of balloon-borne telescopes will investigate magnetic fields and dust properties. Large single dishes, particularly the Green Bank Telescope, remain essential for our understanding of the diffuse structure which characterizes the ISM. Very long baseline interferometry capability enables parallax measurements of pulsars and masers and for further progress in scintillometry. ISM astronomers will continue to participate in cosmological experiments including CHIME and CHORD. Protecting quiet radio frequency interference environments will be ever more important as broadband observations are ever more central to ISM science. Computational capability is essential both for numerical work and for handling the observational data.

Comments: White paper for the Canadian astronomy Long Range Plan process. 10 pages. this https URL

Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Report number: W044

Cite as: arXiv:1910.03652 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:1910.03652v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)

Submission history

From: Alex Hill 

[v1] Tue, 8 Oct 2019 19:17:37 UTC (29 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.